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The Tiny Wooden e-Tractor That Can

Sunday, May 23, 2021, Shem Kerr's blog

Has anyone out there used a tiny e-tractor, wooden or not, in their forestry operations?

We have seen the research on harvesting with converted fertiliser spreaders; big tractors and powered trailers; but what about something for the really small tiny little forest grower: a tractor for continuous cover forestry, one gutsy enough for hauling baulks or small logs one at a time, and narrow enough for operating on walking tracks? Back in earlier days on the internet I saw an article seriously putting across the option of logging with one of those two wheel walk behind tractors. These days the videos on youtube show the wrestling of handlebars; straddling logs and chains; of course there’s the bone shaking vibrations and the smell. Safer would be a remote controlled unit such as the Moritz mini felling tractor

Right now there’s a switch over to electric occurring in the tractor market, mainly in utility and compact sized ones, – though little or tiny e-tractors  did get a start early on things are a bit slow there catching up  with ICE ones    ,- and are now mainly in the lawn tractor sector,- they can do one thing well and perhaps others less well.. The most sub-compact and potentially useful that I can find is the concept of an electric two wheel tractor Ox1  By getting rid of the drive train and the operator’s seat and steering wheel etc the machine can be more compact. Wheel hub motors allow skid-steer operation and all-wheel drive; Finally the handlebar can be replaced with remote control. What can be achieved now is a tractor unit  <1m3  including wheels, that has the power of the typical tractor owned by one of farm forestry founder Neil Barr’s “farmer mates” from back in the day: a robust plywood box to hold the battery; a steel frame to hold the box, the wheels and from which to attach implements; a power unit for a bandsaw etc.

I can just imagine it:, Neil Barr’s farmer mate riding her miniature wooden pony horse walking beside her silent tiny wooden e-tractor toward the ridge of Truva gutsily singing that Anatolian rock anthem:

“I grew it with my hands

When it was fading, I made it alive…..

The birds don’t sing, the roses faded

The big mountains became smoke

It is certain that there is bad news in the place where you are going to”

(English translation of lyrics from Daglar Daglar  by Baris Manco)

[ Issues with the nzffa site meant that this post was first published 22 May  2021 on




One post

Post from Howard Moore on May 26, 2021 at 5:20PM

I've seen one of these Iron Horse mini tractors being used for single log extraction. One end of the log is strapped to the tractor, the other end drags or is held in a logging arch.  This is a walk-beside, skid steer tracked machine. Not fast, but good for narrow paths. See

Disclaimer: Personal views expressed in this blog are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent those of the NZ Farm Forestry Association.

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